Farmer Long would be upset
The prospect of building a railway station on estuary land, which is owned by the National Trust, fills me with alarm.
This land has a very special status and any development should be firmly resisted.
A station will not only require a platform and some associated building for booking office etc, but will, of necessity, involve a certain area of land for car parking and transport interchange; probably involving a couple of hectares of this precious resource. Worse than this, an access road would be needed, which would cut right across the landscape and ruin the rural setting.
I was fortunate to have known Mr Long, who bequeathed the land to the National Trust, and his intention was quite clear. He wanted this area to be protected from development, wildlife to be protected and the farm to be retained as a conventional working farm so that the facility could be enjoyed by the citizens of Exmouth and, particularly, by the children. I beli eve he would be very upset by this proposal and we should do all we can to respect his wishes.
If an improved A376 is out of the question, we need a much-improved rail service; one that delivers a 15-minute timetable at peak times and trains with the capacity to cope with a larger demand.
This may well involve passing loops and computer control (the London dockland railway is a fine example).
Any large scale, future town development would need to have such infrastructure investments included in planning conditions.
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241 Exeter Road, Exmouth.